stethoscope money

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a Medicaid informational bulletin Monday providing guidance to states on how they can help increase Medicaid reimbursement for skilled nursing facilities in an effort to mitigate the further spread of COVID-10 within these facilities. The guidance focuses on the implementation of specific infection control practices, such as designating a quarantine or isolation wing for COVID-19 patients.

Specifically, the bulletin recommends that states consider SNF payment enhancements that include:

  • A per-diem dollar increase or percentage increase to existing base rates.
  • The establishment of new payment methodologies for nursing facilities serving as isolation centers.
  • Temporarily modifying existing rate-setting methodologies, such as allowing additional costs to be considered, removing certain state plan-established payment penalties, or creating an option for facilities to apply for specialized payment adjustments under extraordinary circumstances.
  • The creation of new targeted supplemental payments or modified existing supplemental payments to accelerate the timing of the payments.

The bulletin also included information on the Disaster State Plan Amendments template and described how states may use state-directed payments to increase reimbursements to SNFs.

“Today’s guidance highlights specific steps some states have taken to better support nursing facilities’ ability to safely care for all residents, including COVID-19 positive residents, and how enhanced reimbursement supported those efforts,” CMS said in a statement.

This article appeared in the McKnight’s Business Daily, a joint effort of McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.